Occupy Oakland Didn't Trash Downtown for a Change

Categories: Occupy Bay Area

Kate Conger

Occupy Oakland kept it rather mellow last night in Oakland as it commemorated the anniversary of its eviction from Frank Ogawa Plaza with a march followed by a slideshow(?).

Although several banks boarded up their windows, preparing for another round of vandalism, protesters didn't smash or trash anything along their route through downtown. In fact, the march was eerily peaceful in comparison to past Occupy Oakland shindigs which devolved into assaults and tear gas.

See also: Occupy Oakland: From Peaceful Protests to Violent Chaos

Oakland's occupiers have gained a bad rap after protesters wreaked havoc on downtown, breaking business windows and spray-painting store fronts. Oakland cops haven't exactly cultivated a reputation for peace- keeping either. The Oakland Police Department is now being threatened by a federal takeover, stemming from a 2000 police misconduct lawsuit known as the Riders Case.

Kate Conger
Nothing to see here

Needless to say, both police and protesters were on their best behavior last night --  only two arrests were made -- and there was no sign of Black Bloc protesters.

Police say 25-year-old Alexander Loutsis was arrested after allegedly lobbing a rock at officers during the march. The second person arrested has not yet been identified, but police say that person was arrested on suspicion of "delaying or preventing an officer in the performance of duties."

Occupiers had vowed to storm Frank Ogawa Plaza and once again erect a campsite like the good ol' days, no tents were pitched and everyone left around midnight, allowing the denizens of downtown to get some sleep for a change. 

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Vandals in San Francisco start multiple bonfires, torch a bus, smash more buses, and destroy storefront windows, and they're just "going crazy" and "unleashing their excitement." Protesters hold a peaceful march in Oakland, and its "eerie" that they "didn't trash downtown for a change." WTF is wrong with you SF Weekly?


I am a 'denizen of Downtown Oakland'. I am critical of this coverage. Occupy never trashed Downtown Oakland. It was this blac bloc mob that Occupy didn't have control over, it was also the fucking cop overreacting to them, and trashing the Occupy camp in the first place. 


Occupy never did the trashing in the first place. This article is wrong.  


It's nice to see Occupy Oakland get some positive coverage for a change.  I like the quote by Ben Franklin  "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see"  perception has a way of being manipulated by those with authority.

EdmundB like.author.displayName 1 Like

Its pretty hard to take your coverage seriously. OO didn't trash downtown "for a change"? Occupy has demonstrations, meetings, rallies, BBQs, etc. several times a week, at maybe a half dozen or so marches some Black Blockheads who are not under the organization's control and are not  widely supported by the activists in the group show up a break a few windows, graffiti, etc. These counterproductive individuals are not even representative of most people adopting "Black Bloc" tactics, most of whom think of themselves are protecting march members from police aggression. OO was very clear from the beginning that we were actively discouraging any vandalism last night, even the Black Blockers among us agreed. It was clear from the beginning that what we wanted to do is hold an all-night vigil in a public place, not reestablish the Oakland Commune. No one even showed up with tents or sleeping bags (there might have been 1 symbolic tent, which wasn't even set up).


While it is true that some  "past Occupy Oakland shindigs devolved into assaults and tear gas" often that wasn't even provoked by vandalism, like on May Day when the cops spent the day making snatch & grab raids on the crowd to arrest people they identified as targets and on January 28th when the cops surrounded hundreds of peaceful demonstrators, sealed off all exits, then announced that it was an illegal assembly and proceeded to fire tear gas & other munitions and arrest 428 people exercising their constitutional rights.


If last night was the cops "best behavior" you clearly have a very low bar. There were scores of cops & Department of Homeland Security agents there swaggering around, bullying people, enforcing petty, arbitrary, often non-existent  rules, blocking the pavement so passersby had to walk on the freshly re-sod lawn violating the signs saying to keep of the grass, and finally, at 11 PM marching in with dozens of baton wielding "officers" and announcing that the "park" was closed and forced us to stop peacefully dancing and chatting.  The First Amendment does not mean that the police have a right to impose arbitrary "time, place & manner" restrictions of the rights of assembly and free speech. The cops violated of Constitutional rights yet again with the full approval of the corporate media that fancies itself the champion of those very rights. Color me unsurprised.

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